As I said at the top of last week’s rankings, Week 4 was something of a turning point. Teams across the section dipped a little deeper into the meat of their schedules. There was no more hiding. That truth will be reflected in the new rankings, including expanded class-by-class rankings for each class and the season’s first small-school Top 10 (like the one for basketball).
First, click here to take a peek at last week’s rankings. Now, let’s see how much they’ve changed…
1. New Rochelle (4-0) – The Huguenots are not perfect, but they won last week for two reasons. They still have a strong defense, and they boast more playmakers than any team in the section. Right now, that’s plenty good enough to earn the top spot, but a tough opponent awaits this week in Mahopac.
2. Iona Prep (3-1) – The Gaels returned to form against Xaverian, piling up 41 points in a rout. Now, they’ll just have to prove they can play consistently, although their biggest regular season tests appear to be behind them.
3. North Rockland (3-1) – The Red Raiders were exactly what we thought they were. Their toughness and fundamentals on defense are second to none. I think they’ll give New Rochelle all it can handle in a potential rematch. I’m not sure anyone will run the ball on them all season.
4. Harrison (4-0) – Right now, Somers had the best individual win, but the schedules have been pretty equal overall. The Huskies continued to roll along last week, scoring at will against an undermanned Tappan Zee squad. They probably won’t be seriously tested again until Week 7 against You Know Who.
5. Somers (4-0) – The powerful Tuskers appear to be contenders again. They have a nice compliment of skill and size. The key will be maintaining their focus after a huge win over Poughkeepsie.
6. Poughkeepsie (3-1) – No reason to drop the Pioneers after losing to a quality opponent. It’ll be interesting to see how they play Arlington this week. Pride is on the line, but, like every non-league game, that’s about it.
7. John Jay-East Fishkill (3-1) – My initial impression was that I was a bit surprised to see John Jay pushed by White Plains. Thinking about it more now, the Tigers have been feisty despite their 0-4 record. Plus, going on a long road trip and winning on another team’s field is never easy. I don’t expect the Patriots to take this week’s non-league game with Ketcham lightly.
8. Clarkstown South (2-2) – I still believe South is the fourth-best team in Class AA. Will that be enough to qualify for the playoffs? Probably not — unless the Vikings beat North, Mahopac and John Jay-East Fishkill in succession. And that would probably make them the third-best anyway.
9. Our Lady of Lourdes (4-0) – Terrific defensive effort by the Warriors, who played their best D of the year in the shutout of Croton. Tough to imagine any Class B opponents challenging them until the state playoffs consider how they’ve handled the likes of Croton, Nanuet and Westlake.
10. Sleepy Hollow (3-1) – This might be an unpopular move, but I can’t keep Brewster above Sleepy based on strength of schedule. The Headless Horsemen now have impressive wins over Rye and John Jay. Obviously, I picked John Jay to win the section, so I value that one pretty highly.
On the bubble: Brewster (4-0), Clarkstown North (3-1), John Jay (2-2), Mahopac (2-2).
SMALL SCHOOL TOP 10
1. Our Lady of Lourdes
7. Rye Country Day
8. Dobbs Ferry
Here are the class-by-class rankings:
Class AA – South and Mahopac are clearly good teams with tough schedules. Absent Arlington and White Plains could claim the same thing, but need a couple wins to join the rankings.
1. New Rochelle
2. North Rockland
3. John Jay-East Fishkill
4. Clarkstown South
6. Clarkstown North
Class A – The toughest class (by far) to compare the haves to the have nots. There just isn’t enough cross over between the top and bottom-ranked teams.
4. Sleepy Hollow
6. John Jay
Class B – Nos. 6-10 are very difficult to rank.
1. Our Lady of Lourdes
8. Putnam Valley
Class C/D – Rye Neck will get its stiffest test this week in Albertus.
3. Dobbs Ferry
5. Rye Neck
9. Albertus Magnus
Catholics/Privates – No changes here.
1. Iona Prep
3. Rye Country Day